What happens if you don’t pay for a TV licence?

The television licence is an annual fee in the UK that you have to pay to legally watch live TV and BBC iplayer. There are a few exceptions though, for example you can watch ITV Hub and 4oD without a licence. As well as subscription services such as Netflix.

But you do need a licence to watch live TV on any kind of device such as a mobile, tablet or laptop. And you are covered when you are way from the property that is registered.

The money supports things like the BBC. To find out how to get a licence, see our accommodation section.

To many international students it can seem bizarre that you require a licence for a television, but there are consequences if you don’t pay up because if you get caught you can face fines of up to £1,000 which is a huge jump from the £150.50 it costs for a yearly licence.

The most recent figures show that 256,600 people were caught watching television without a TV licence. And some of the excuses they gave for not having a TV licence were hilarious.

Here are our favourites:

  1. A person said they thought they didn’t need a licence because their corgi dog was  ‘apparently’ related to the Queen’s dog
  2. Another person asked the authorities to charge her three-year-old son because he is the only one who watches the TV.
  3. Losing weight and having to spend TV licence money on new clothes was one of the many excuses.
  4. Finally, one person believed they would be dead soon and therefore did not want to pay for an entire year of television.

So remember even if you have the wackiest excuse possible, there is no excuse to avoid a hefty fine if you do not pay your TV licensing fee.

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